Are You Happy?
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP
Numerous studies over the course of the past several years point to the alarming number of Americans who are unhappy with their lives. The complaints run the gamut from their dislike for their job or career, their relationship, their weight, some aspect of their appearance, where they live...and the list goes on.
If you are one of those individuals who has trouble conjuring up happiness on a regular basis, I invite you to take a look at the work of an author who has made it her mission to help herself and others find that intangible...happiness. The name of the author if Gretchen Rubin and a few of her books include The Happiness Project and Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits--to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life.
Many of us make the mistake of thinking that things and experiences outside of us...our physical experiences...are the basis of our happiness. That is faulty thinking, however. Happiness is an inside job. You can actually decide to be happy. Regardless of what is going on in your life right now...whether you have lost your job or hate your boss, whether you are struggling with a challenging relationship or are gloomy because you can't lose that last 5 pounds...you can decide to be happy anyway.
Waiting for things to be perfect in your life is futile. No matter what is going on around you, there will always be problems, there will always be challenges, and you will always wish that things might be easier for you. The truth is that the very problems and challenges you are facing are part of your very human experience. The stars will never align in such a way that you will stay blissfully happy for the rest of your life unless you DECIDE to be blissfully happy for the rest of your life no matter what else is going on in your life.
I learned this lesson a long time ago. I went through a challenging period in my life, and I was depressed now that I look back on it and realize what was happening. I tried to pretend that everything was okay. I went to work and I did all the things we are required to do to "get along," but inside I was wretchedly unhappy and sad. This period lasted for well over a year. I would go to work and smile my way through the day putting on a brave front, but when I got home, I immediately headed for my bed to sleep for several hours because I was exhausted from the mere pretense of being "fine."
You may be going through a similar time right now. You may be wondering, "So what did you do to pull yourself out of it?" The answer is that I finally got tired of feeling sad all the time. I felt stuck and I was sick of it. I happened to see a notice in the paper about a free seminar entitled, "How to Happy Again." I signed up, and I attended each of the 6 week sessions with about 50 other people who were struggling to feel happy again just like I was.
In the meantime, I found a book entitled something like, "Happiness is a Choice," and then I found a church where the teaching was, you can choose whatever experience you want. You just have to decide what that is.
If the source of your unhappiness is your job, you can definitely do something about that, but again, you have to choose to take steps to change your situation or else look at your situation differently. Whichever you decide, YOU get to choose.
I offer workshops on stress management and work-life balance, and I remind the participants in each workshop that we are each in the driver's seat of our own lives. If you are unhappy because of something you can't change, then you may just need to accept it and move on. If you are unhappy because of something you CAN change, then perhaps it is time to make that decision that only you can make to change your circumstances.
Looking for a new job is scary. Breaking free of a bad relationship is hard. Losing that last 5 pounds can be tough. Just about anything worth doing is going to challenge you because it challenges the status quo, but staying stuck and feeling unhappy all the time is not only miserable for you, but you make everyone around you miserable.
Happiness is a choice. What are you choosing?
Until next time.
Note: Tonight I am offering a FREE webinar presentation on how to jumpstart your job search or career change. If you are unhappy in your current job or career, you can change that, but you need to have the tools and you need to understand the process. Most people don't have a clue as to how to start a job search, and that is what this webinar is about. If you are interested, please feel free to sign up. The registration is here: https://kittyboitnott.leadpages.co/jumpstart-your-job-search-webinar-9/. Show up at 7:00 EDT tonight, and I will guide you through the steps you need to take in order to break free of a job that no longer serves you. I hope to see you tonight!